arkibúllan arkitektar
Reykjavík, Iceland | View Map
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Private Houses

Bragginn (Renovation of a Butler barrack)

arkibúllan arkitektar as Architects

Renovation of a Butler barrack built in 1945 -1946 in Iceland.

The barrack and surrounding buildings were built just after World War II and served as a transit camp for aircraft crews that were flying between America and Europe and was called Hotel Winston.


There were a lot of British and American barracks built in Iceland by the allied forces and this barrack is one of the last one who is actually still on its original plot.


During the years following the end of World War II, Reykjavik suffered a housing crisis due to people increasingly moving from the countryside and into the capital. The crisis forced many families to move into the vacant military barracks. Only ever meant as temporary housing, the barracks were fraught with problems regarding heating, ventilation, humidity and hygiene.


The inhabitants suffered, and their way of life was a source of shame in society. Those bad memories as well as their temporary nature meant that the barracks were not considered of much importance to Iceland’s cultural and architectural heritage and therefore not maintained.


Reykjavik city decided to renovate this barrack and other houses attached to the barrack. The barrack is a restaurant and the attached houses serve as a lecture room and entrepreneurship offices for the University of Reykjavik.

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